Sarah Cochran – Elton Gregory Middle School, Redmond

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Sarah using Reflector to show student work created in Educreations

 

I envision having added technology as a tool for both learning and teaching, not the actual learning outcome. Therefore, I hope and expect that student performance will be enhanced, because the more tools we, as teachers, have to offer students, the more opportunities we are also giving students, inviting them to be more engaged and intrigued with their daily learning!

16 Dec. Update:

While the idea of having added technology to assist with teaching and learning is exciting, it is also limiting when it isn’t reliable! The cons:  There have been some bumps in the road–spotty wireless has caused some issues when I have tried to use various applications and show the full class how these work; it is tough to move forward when the source isn’t there for students to see! Having one tool for 33 students to share has been problematic–if a pair of students is using an app, but have questions on how to use it most effectively, there are several interruptions, causing the flow of the rest of class to be stunted.  The positives have included: using this tool as an effective way for students to practice their pronunciation and fluency, recording how they sound and keeping their best version for an immediate assessment, and using various flashcard tools for instant practice. Additionally, having access to an iPad has helped with student engagement–when they are using this tool, they are fully engaged! It would be much better for each student to have their own iPad, but I am happy to have one for student-use, and am hopeful that some of the wireless glitches will be worked out so I may build on what I’m trying to learn and use for full group learning.

Jan. 17 update:

A new year has arrived and I look forward to “letting go” of some of the concerns I’ve had regarding not knowing exactly how an app will work out for students and just allow them to try, letting me know if it’s valuable or not, after practicing with it. Part of having this tool is getting used to the variety of ways it can be used and then just go for it.

Aside from the challenges I have written about in my previous entry, I am trying to have students use the iPad in pairs, having them figure out ways to problem solve when things don’t go smoothly, so fewer full-class interruptions occur.

In the coming weeks, students will use the iPad as an additional resource for review, as there are several assessments coming up, so I feel that having this tool will be especially helpful as a studying aid.